The worm is turning. Christians are tired of being doormats. For years it has been forbidden (and downright dangerous) to mock a Moslem, bruise a Buddhist, jostle a Jew, harass a Hindu or slander a Sikh, but Christians have been fair game for any fundamentalist secularist to be rude about. Thus we have had the absurd Winterval as a replacement for Christmas, the Red Cross barring Christmas trees from its charity shops, the ridiculous "Happy Holidays" replacing "Merry Christmas", the dreadful "Jerry Springer - the opera", and religious symbols made from frozen urine and elephant dung.
Perhaps it is the injunction to 'turn the other cheek' and 'go the extra mile' that has restrained Christians, and given the impression that Christians find some sort of perverse pleasure in being insulted. Church authorities have urged restraint and tolerance. Goodness knows we don't want to go back to the Spanish Inquisition.
Now two issues have roused the troops. The first is the small cross that a member of the check-in staff at British Airways wishes to wear, that technically breaks the Uniform code. Nadia Eweida could very well wear her cross beneath her uniform, but she chooses not to; she wants to display a visible evidence of her faith. Christians differ on such emblems, much as Moslems do with the wearing of the Hijab. It is not compulsory, but a matter of personal choice. Many years ago I wore a small fish as a lapel badge, not because of any superstition but because it identified me as a Christian to other Christians, and it could also be a conversation starter. After they became very common in the 1970s I stopped, largely because they were no longer started conversations.
People who don't live in Britain will not appreciate that the part of London around Heathrow has a large population from the Indian subcontinent. Large numbers of airport workers come from what are still termed the 'ethnic minorities' Many of these are allowed to wear symbols of their faith - turbans, bangles, red spots on their foreheads and headscarves - because they can't be worn invisibly beneath their uniforms. So it appears to be discriminatory against Christians.
The suspension of Miss Eweida has caused a furore. Bishops and archbishops have written a letter to the Times, 100 MPs have vowed to boycott BA, and a website has been started called BA Boycott. From this I have selected on comment which puts the thing in a nutshell:
To BA: So, tell us. When are you morons going to paint over the British flags on all of your aircraft? I’m an American, but even I know that your flag consists of three ***gasp*** crosses. The Cross of St. George, the Cross of St. Andrew, and the Cross of St. Patrick. Just imagine how “offensive” THAT is. Remove those, as surely you must to remain consistent in your foolishness, and all you’ll have left is a WHITE FLAG. How appropriate.
The second issue is the banning of Christian Unions by several British Universities. Their offence? They refuse to allow non-Christians on their Executive Boards. Now can you imagine the Moslem Society being run by Hindus? Or the Labor party being run by Conservatives? Or the Jewish Society being run by Moslems? Again the Bishops and Archbishops of the Church of England have been moved to protest. Indeed the Christian Law Society is going to the Courts about it.
What about turning the other cheek? Sometimes we long for the days when God used to unleash thunderbolts on the slightest offender. But these are days of restraint. God is not willing that any should perish but that all would turn from their wicked ways and live. However, St Paul in prison stood up for his rights as a Roman citizen and Christians should remember that the Jesus they follow is not a long-haired wimp in a white nightdress, but the coming King. Show Him some respect, for God's sake.